Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I have been thinking about vulnerability lately, a lot. My family had a weird week. Four members of our family were in the hospital within the last week, three ER trips, one ICU stay. We were spread out, at work at home, states apart. All of us checking in and connecting, trying to make sure everything was OK, that everyone was OK. I am so thankful for things like modern communication. We didn't have to write letters and send them by pigeon or pony express. We didn't ring up insane phone bills on our land lines. We Facetime talked with each other and texted back and forth. Extended family and friends kept in touch via Facebook, it was all so very closely linked and in real time.

Elise broken arm

Then over the course of the week I read another post by my dear friend Sarah where she expressed an entirely different vulnerability (read here it is beautiful). Of course we all have areas where it is difficult for us to feel entirely comfortable in our own skin, circumstance or situations that bring to light our deeply held insecurities and fears. Facing them head on is such a tremendous challenge, but honestly it is probably the best way to move forward.

Elise broken arm

While I was in the ER with Elise on Friday they gave her some medication as they set her arm and had someone there to monitor her breathing, little tubes in her nostrils giving her oxygen. I had to sign the "just in case" paperwork that makes me want to vomit and grab my family and live in a padded room off the grid...but then there would be other worries I suppose.

As I held Elise in my arms that day I was struck by how very delicate we are, on so many levels. Her little body is so very small in a big and dangerous world. My heart, as well as everyone else who knows her, is so fragile when it comes to her or Cordelia or anyone else that I care about (and I care an awful lot).

Elise broken arm

Later that evening I was talking with Eric about it and he sagely reminded me that vulnerability is one of the best parts about being human. Darn it. I know he is right. Our greatest joys are often our weakest points. Of course we do have to find a balance and not live in padded off the grid caves. Our internal vulnerabilities, those things about which we are personally delicate---our insecurities---are often the places we find our greatest strengths too.

Oh this life we are living you guys, it is mighty strange.

Elise broken arm

And, for those of you in need of an Elise update we went into the orthopedic doc yesterday (don't get me started on what a hassle it was to get in) and they X-rayed the bone. Thankfully the set they did at the hospital seemed to be good, meaning no more bone moving. He was afraid that removing the plaster splint would undo that set and decided not to put her in a cast yesterday. So the nurse did a solid job of wrapping the plaster and it is a firm wrap with a hard interior. Feels pretty sturdy. We will go in next week to X-ray again and see what the next step is. I would also like to mention that Elise was freakishly charming and I overheard the doctor and the X-ray tech discussing adorable things she had said and done in their presence. When we left she was coated in stickers (see photos) before we left, everyone was charmed and heartbroken by the little lady with the broken arm. In fact, when people would crouch down and say, "ooooooooooh what happened?" Her response was, "I broke my arm, but I be OK. I got my mommy."

Elise broken arm


Sarah Purdy said...

Well done, friend. Lots of good thoughts for me to think about today when I'm thinking about things and thoughts. Hugs to Elisey!

Emily said...

This is a great post. And combined with Sarah's post it really brings home the idea of being transparent and honest. When you live like this, you usually find yourself surrounded by support and love and question why you don't open up more often. It's freeing!

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